What are the top three aging concerns we all share, and how can we treat them with both drug store options and products with potentially greater efficacy and what’s the difference? I want to quality this by saying I am a pro-aging advocate that do not use injectables or plastic surgery. My belief is that aging is not something to be embarrassed about; that’s crazy! Older women are a gift to the world and you are so needed, loved, and beautiful. Having said that, we want to feel and look our feminine best. How that is defined is up to you, so here are my words of advice as an aesthetician, former model, and celebrity makeup artist.
What Are the Top 3 Aging Concerns for Mature Women?
The top three aging concerns for older women are loss of collagen, loss of glow, and uneven skin tone. I am going to go through each of these and what products as well as internal methods you can use to improve each one of these areas. A word on aging: the reason we age is because the proteins in the skin become less and less, so skin looks deflated and has more fine lines. The epidermis gets thicker, and the dermis gets thinner (the opposite of younger skin), so the top layer doesn’t slough off and makes skin look dull. Plus, through many things including sun exposure, diet, smoking, etc., our skin becomes uneven and we develop age spots, hyperpigmentation, and a rough texture. The secret to improving all these areas is creating greater cell turnover, which is what each one of these products does in different ways. Let’s go through each one.
Retinol is a Must-Have Anti-Aging Product
Retinol or vitamin A, called Retin-A (in prescription strength) and also retinaldehyde, is a primary ingredient to promote collagen production. Retinol causes fibroblasts which helps to produce more collagen in the skin. Topical collagen creams don’t do this, they do not have the ability to penetrate the top layer of the skin due to the size of the molecules. Therefore, using retinol is hugely affective to promote cell turnover and a brighter and plumper appearance. I use retinol 3-4 times a week and I will get to what product I use further down in the article, but here are some drug store options.
Drug Store Retinol Options
If you are new to retinol, I suggest starting with a low dose. Neutrogena Rapid Wrinkle Repair ($23.50) is an inexpensive and mild product. You shouldn’t have much of a reaction to it, and if you do, you haven’t lost a substantial amount of money. If you’re looking for something stronger, try L’Oréal Revitalift Derm Intensives Night Serum ($32.96). It has 0.03% pure retinol so it’s stronger but not going to be super noticeable Are you ready for the big guns of retinol? If you’ve been using retinol and haven’t noticed a change, try either a 1% or 5% retinol from Truth Treatments Skin Care ($175 and $189). I use the 5% and have no reaction to it, because it has vitamin C and hydrating elements. Plus, every day I spot treat my age spots which helps them diminish faster. As an aside, be sure to use SPF on your face when in the sun if you use any retinol product
Drug Store AHA Options
Alpha Hydroxy Acids include hydroxy, salicylic, and glycolic acids and help to speed up the cell cycle and break up aging dry skin to look more radiant. One of the best places to get AHA’s is in in cleansers, and also to see and aesthetician and have acid peels done. Having said that, the budget version is having it in cleansers like L’Oréal Glycolic Cleanser ($9.99) which you wash off, as well as CeRave SA Cleanser ($11.47), Both are easily accessible and help o brighten the skin. The product I use is Image MD Restoring Facial Cleanser ($36). It has a higher content of AHA’s than the drug store brands and is also gentl and hydrating to my skin.
Drug Store Vitamin C Serum
Vitamin C serum is huge in skin care and does magical things like help rebuild collagen, smooth out uneven skin tone, has an antioxidant affect, and treats dark and red spots. Having said that, there are 8 different types of topical vitamin C, and quantity matters enormously with this ingredient. My product suggestions range from drug store brands with l-ascorbic acid, a water-soluble type of vitamin C that doesn’t soak into the skin as well as an oil soluble vitamin C like tetrahexydecyl ascorbate does. The difference is cost and efficacy, so it depends on how sensitive you are to the ingredient and how much you’d like to spend, plus definite outcomes in your skin health and look.
At the low end of the pricing scales, try Vichy Ampule Serum 10% ($28.50) which is in a tinted ampule to protect the highly unstable vitamin C molecule. In fact, if the product you use isn’t in a glass container, it’s probably not working at all. If you’d like more than 10% vitamin C, try La Roche Posay ($39.99) with 15% ($39.99). Again, it’s good to start at the lower end and work your way up. For 20% vitamin C try Image MD Restoring Youth Serum ($95) which is also very hydrating and an oil-based vitamin C so more effective. At the high end of the scale is Transdermal C Serum ($219) with 80% tetrahexydecyl ascorbate. These last two products cost more, because they are using a much more efficacious form of the ingredient and are non-irritating. As you might have guessed, I use Truth Treatments Vitamin C and have no reactions to it.
One very important point here is that external skin care is only 20% of skin health. Skin conditions are mostly the result of gut problems so taking probiotics, vitamin C, E, and D will not only build your immune system, but strengthen your gut and thus give you a better complexion. Don’t forget to take at least 2 tablespoons of Omega 3-6-9 oil (in gel tablet or liquid) twice a day, because as we age, we need more good fats in our diet to add hydration and plumpness to your skin.
I hope you found this helpful! What experiences do you have with vitamin C, both good and bad? What improvements have you found in your skin?